The November ballot in California is expected to set a record for citizen initiatives, with more than 100 proposed and filed. Californiaâ€™s citizensâ€™ initiative process is a form of direct democracy, allowing citizens to bypass the Legislature to enact laws that they want.
Good in theory. How about in practice?
Are average voters equipped to deal with the complexities of legislation? Does the process of qualifying an initiative for the ballotâ€”costly and cumbersomeâ€”simply provide an alternate route for special interests to hold sway? Do you think California's initiative process is controlled more by large industries, labor unions and wealthy individuals than by ordinary citizens? If so, how should the process be reformed? Or should it be scrapped altogether?
These are among the issues that will be debated Thursday evening at 7, as Larry Mantle (host of KPCCâ€™s AirTalk) and Peter Scheer (FAC executive director) explore issues related to money in CAâ€™s initiative process with these special guests --
John Eastman, professor of law and community service at Chapman University
Richard Hasen, Chancellor's professor of law and political science at
University of California, Irvine
Jessica Levinson, professor at Loyola Law School
John Matsusaka, USC Charles F. Sexton chair in American enterprise,
professor of finance and business economics, and executive director of
Initiative and Referendum Institute
Pete Peterson, interim dean of the School of Public Policy and
executive director of the Davenport Institute at Pepperdine University
This event is a live taping of AirTalk co-presented by the First
Amendment Coalition and KPCC.